Chicken with your head cut off…

True story – In 1945 there was a chicken in Colorado that had its head cut off (Sorry, gruesome I know). What’s incredible about this particular chicken is that the axe missed its jugular vein but left enough of the brain stem attached for this chicken to live. Not only did this chicken live, but it actually seemed to thrive. In fact, in the following two years the chicken actually put on 6 lbs.

This chicken was later named Mike and actually toured the country being shown at different shows and events. The chicken made its owner up to $4,500 a month (63 years ago!!!). People by the thousands paid 25 cents to see Mike and were amazed at how Mike seemed to live a completely “normal” life.

Mike was fed through an eyedropper, but other than that he simply went about his life. Even headless, Mike would happily “peck” for food blissfully unaware that he had no head.

Now this story is amazing to me for several reasons, but the one that stood out to me most was that a chicken with literally his head taken off could function as he did before. He was a drone. He did the same activities day in and day out but never had to “think” for himself.

Sometimes as I watch people that do the same thing day after day with no ambition or action to change their circumstances or their lives that they are no better off than Mike. We all have the capability to live a full life despite our circumstances, but it requires work, dedication, and proper planning. Instead, I believe so many are content like Mike to “peck” around and do their daily activities only worrying about what they are doing the next day.

We have a head for a reason – Lets learn to use it for our benefit. Don’t be like Mike that only lived day to day and was content. If you are in a situation that you don’t want to be in then use your head and improve your status. Quit running around like a chicken with your head cut off and do something worthwhile!

More Info On Mike

Matt Heaton /

16 Responses to “Chicken with your head cut off…”

  1. Chicken with your head cut off……

    True story – In 1945 there was a chicken in Colorado that had its head cut off (Sorry, gruesome I know). What’s incredible about this particular chicken is that the axe missed its jugular vein but left enough of the brain stem attached for this …

  2. Mike says:

    Sheesh Matt, what are you trying to say? 😉 I’m not brave enough to start my own company. Should I go get my MBA or something?

  3. daniel says:

    thank you for inspiring me. im trying to start my own business, but seem to be procrastinating. that story is just what i needed :)

  4. […] Could this have really happened? Matt from Bluehost: Chicken with your head cut off… […]

  5. Thats awfull, shocking how the thing stayed alive though! I would to see a picture!

  6. Greg says:

    Let chickens be in their own right — if they get smart, we get no food tonight.

  7. Jack says:

    Inspirational words, to be sure. But…I have a lot of stories about people who started off a business and failed, and were the worse off for it. What is wrong with the French model, where people go to work reasonable hours, but have lives and hobbies of their own? Not of of us have the resources / skill / contacts / wherewithal and / or ambition to start our own company. We can’t all be business owners – the competitive model of capitalism assures this. I believe in capitalism, but I resent its excesses. For example, why are American workers so limited in vacation time, and work so much compared to other industrialized countries? CEO pay is ridiculously high, much more so than in other successful industrialized countries. Companies cannot exist without workers, but workers do not partake fairly in the fruits of their labor. Real wages have steadily decreased since the 80s. Companies grind employees and threaten them with layoffs, etc. Why can’t we share in a company’s properity?

  8. Kuikens says:

    That’s really awfull, beheading a poor chick :(

  9. J. Martin says:

    Incredible but sad… I see your metaphor… of course it was fascinating and colorful, but is a cruel sad tale.

    Ichabod the bird.

    Ol Mike should have asked the farmer for his cut :)

    McDonald’s ought to offer a special…headless mcnugget offer.

    Thanks for the story.

    Happy Holiday Season


  10. Brian says:

    It is a true story. There is a statue in Fruita, CO dedicated to Mike the chicken. Fruita incidentally is a great place to go mountain biking.

  11. Paul says:

    Here we go:
    True story with picture included.
    Unfortunately, 90% of the people are just like “droids” with no ability to think. They get their ‘fair share’: 10% of the wealth.
    The 10% controls 90% of the wealth…

  12. Michael Hart says:

    Hey Matt I worked for Bluehost for a whole month, and definitely decided that it was not for me, not to say it is a bad thing, but now I am working on getting out of debt and getting my degrees.

    I was hoping to start a community site about finding work in the the Utah Valley area since so many I know are having trouble with that, not all of them are computer savvy but I still think it would help them out a lot. But I need people to inform me about jobs they have or find or know of, could you check out my site and let me know if you are hiring so I can get others I know employed? (This also helps me know what jobs I can do between classes and whatnot. Many thanks!


  13. Ajax says:

    Dude! That is totally awesome with the chicken. Roflmao

  14. EthanZ says:

    Hi Matt –

    Couldn’t figure the best place to post this comment – a headless chicken thread seems as good as any.

    Friends in Zimbabwe had been using Bluehost for years to host a number of critical human rights site. Their sites were terminated this week by one of your abuse staff. After a long email exchange, including the US embassy in Zimbabwe explaining that the US has sanctions on Mugabe and cronies, not ordinary Zimbabweans, your staff wouldn’t budge.

    I blogged about this on my site, which is read by a lot of folks who focus on African politics. Many of my readers are pretty upset with you guys, as am I, and we’re hoping that you’ll look into the situation and offer an explanation. One of my commenters pointed me to your blog and suggested I alert you to y outline of the situation, which is here:

    Thanks for looking in on this. I suspect this is your abuse team failing to understand a complicated situation, but it’s not making your company look very good in the human rights and free speech community – I hope you’ll take the opportunity to fix the situation.

    -Ethan Zuckerman

  15. I have a question regarding this postini that needs answered for all of us IT guys. Is it intellegent enough to compare the IP address against the email address and call it spam? Everyone has the problem with people sending you emails from your own email address. The default spam detector should do that.

    The other issues is the secure outgoing server. Some days it is secure, others it isn’t. Every other email providor has secure outgoing email server and it simply requires to check the box that says to use the same username/password as incoming email. It isn’t that hard. It would stop a lot of spam & congestion going through bluehosts servers.

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